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Subject: Seaside First Impressions rss

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Mason Louie
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Seaside First Impressions

Here's my first impressions from playing 10 games using only the cards from Seaside and about 15 with the two prior sets in 2, 3, and 5 player configurations.

Some Card Impressions

First of all, it's not even a card, but the included metal coins are really fine. They're not very big, but they have a solid heft to them. I feel like a salty buccaneer enjoying my ill-gotten loot of a long day's slog when I hold them. Very real.

Move over Thief cause the Pirates ahoy. Pirate Ship is pretty devastating if there's a good brake card available like Embargo. When I get around 4-5 coin tokens, I start the Province plunge. Of course it helps to have non-money cash sources like Merchant Ship since if ppl tend to copy me when I buy a Pirate Ship. Only trouble is, everyone knows it, very bad news in a 5 player game.

Bazaar feels overpriced when I think of it as a Village + 1 coin. Sure it's nice that Village Idiots can't reach $5 very easily, but it's still kinda steep. Though I suppose this isn't too different than Market's pricing. It does helps with me Pirate Ship plundering. Arrr!

Ghost Ship is a brutal attack card because of the place back on deck top effect. If there aren't any cantrip durations available, it's a Bureacrat-Militia 2fer.

Lookout can be pretty brutal sometimes because of that first blind compulsory trash, but it's usually great as a planning facilitator.

Outposts and Lighthouses are silly together. I guess there's only enough room for one of them in a deck.

Navigator & Pearl Diver. It's like a competent Navigator crossed with Simpleton's Benthic cousin. This pair makes this set feel like Intrigue^2. Especially with Outpost in the mix.

Pearl Diver, Wishing Well, and Spy-- why??? Why is it that Pearl Diver, Wishing Well and Spy are hamstrung by the order in which the card is drawn??? Why not do their cool ability and then do the card draw? It can't be a matter of card power, so many cards are way more powerful than the more powerful versions either peeky card. It seems there has to be one crippled horse per set.

Durations & Beyond

Throne Rooms and Durations: An Exercise in Love & Hate. In spite of the mass confusion Throning a duration causes, it's pretty cool to see a pair or two get played. But it's frustrating to play a cantrip duration and then draw the TR. Nice to pack them in a Haven though.

I like how durations work out to be a double card. Any given duration doesn't get put back into the mix after its first turn, but usually gives something back and has a smoothening effect on cards in my deck and discard piles for some mini-Chancellor action. OTOH even without the TR madness, a tableau full of durations can lead to a higher degree of analysis paralysis working out that next turn than I'm used to for this game. Fortunately, due to the holdover nature of durations and the variance of Dominion, this doesn't come up too often unlike Agricola or Caylus. I really like the how the durations allow and encourage a wider number of Kingdom cards strategies can use and remain coherent.

What I like about the set as a whole is that the cards overall amount to decks faster than augmented treasure decks. The treasure buying rule holds less true for Seaside. Take that Big Noodle, I mean Big Money!

The power to decide what exactly will happen next turn changes the character of Dominion substantially. It's almost a new game. Or more precisely, Seaside makes Dominion much more akin to resource management games like Puerto Rico with lots of look-ahead. It's not quite as bad because there aren't (yet) cards that allow large-scale rearranging of opponents' decks, but it's much closer than with just Intrigue. However, it is no longer a game I'd recommend to casual gamers as the interactions between cards and strategies becomes daunting.

Favorite Cards

Haven. Just plain rules. It does befuddle ppl when crossed with deck rearrangement through Navigator and Scout. Play 5 and you've got a Tactician without the hand dump.

Embargo. It's a nicely balanced brake card. It's close, but not quite a counterspell equivalent, which is a very very good thing in my eye. It's just enough to forcibly get ppl to dynamically reevaluate their strategies without wantonly nuking choices.

Native Village. It's like a Village, that ocassionally downpours. Really, the best part of this card is how you can partition you deck. Got a lot of crap? Sure. Got a secondary can-of-whoopass you wanna save for later. Even better. Lots of interesting decisions abound.

Outpost. Add Havens and a Library and it's party time. A very confusing and nuanced card though, much like Throne Room even if nothing happens when you combine the 2.

Cards I Don't Like

Treasure Map. When I need it, I can't get it. And when I get it, I don't need it. It helps to have card cycling backup with Tactician and the like, but it's still not so easy to pull off. And I really dislike the added luck the card brings in both getting the combo and then propelling the lucky to a victory. All this said after winning from having a deck full of Havens and not enough coin to get a 5 cost. I'd hate to see how far I'd have led if I had a well made deck.

Cutpurse. This can sting in early game, especially with 4+ players, but it's pretty weak overall. Hell, it'd be a better card if it gave Coppers rather than dumping them. Putpurse, anyone? Though maybe the point of this card is Pirate Ship support for non-treasure cash and providing potential deck fodder for a plundering run.

Pearl Diver. So close to being a cool card. But alas, it's a lot weaker than it coulda been.

Smugglers. It's a clever idea, but I dislike its implications. First is that it encourages copycat decks. Second, copycat + other strategic ideas = lose, but most ppl don't seem to realize this. It's probably useful for carefully picking and choosing what you gain, so it's conceivably more controlled than Tribute, but I don't like its single-purposeness.

Conclusion

On the whole, I like this set more than Intrigue. It's got more cards I strongly dislike, but the rest give games a lot more strategic meat through different dimensions of partitioning, be it through storage on the duration row, special piles, or hands-on, fine-grained deck management. Although I want to see more victory cards, I appreciate the discretion of choosing path or destination, but not both. Seaside is definitely a set about paths, strategies.
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David desJardins
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masonlouie wrote:
Cutpurse. This can sting in early game, especially with 4+ players, but it's pretty weak overall. Hell, it'd be a better card if it gave Coppers rather than dumping them. Putpurse, anyone?

This doesn't make sense. You do know that the Cutpurse doesn't remove Copper from your opponent's decks? It just makes them discard it (i.e., costs them $1 on their next turn). How could the opposite effect (give them each $1 extra next turn) be good for you?
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Mason Louie
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DaviddesJ wrote:
It just makes them discard it (i.e., costs them $1 on their next turn). How could the opposite effect (give them each $1 extra next turn) be good for you?
That's not the opposite effect I meant. What I meant was this card:

Putpurse
Action - Attack
cost 4
+2 coin
Each other player gains a Copper.

This is a better card because its effects continue for most of the game even though it helps opponents in early game. Giving each opponent a bare $1 is just silly for an attack.
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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Not to nitpick but that really doesn't make it a reverse of Cutpurse.
 
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Anders Rosendal
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masonlouie wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
It just makes them discard it (i.e., costs them $1 on their next turn). How could the opposite effect (give them each $1 extra next turn) be good for you?
That's not the opposite effect I meant. What I meant was this card:

Putpurse
Action - Attack
cost 4
+2 coin
Each other player gains a Copper.

This is a better card because its effects continue for most of the game even though it helps opponents in early game. Giving each opponent a bare $1 is just silly for an attack.

That's not opposite. Your card anti-trashes a copper.
Cutpurse doesn't TRASH a card. It discards it, so it still clogs the deck of your opponent.
 
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Brandon George
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qute wrote:
That's not opposite. Your card anti-trashes a copper.
Cutpurse doesn't TRASH a card. It discards it, so it still clogs the deck of your opponent.

Indeed, and it actually makes it harder for your opponent to trash those coppers if they are attempting to do so.
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Jason Woolever
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masonlouie wrote:
Bazaar feels overpriced when I think of it as a Village + 1 coin.
Gold feels overpriced when I think of it as a Silver + 1 coin.
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Jonathan Leistiko
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masonlouie wrote:
Smugglers. It's a clever idea, but I dislike its implications. First is that it encourages copycat decks. Second, copycat + other strategic ideas = lose, but most ppl don't seem to realize this. It's probably useful for carefully picking and choosing what you gain, so it's conceivably more controlled than Tribute, but I don't like its single-purposeness.
A few thoughts: Smugglers could be good for accelerating the end of the game by pulling three piles down to zero. If you're using card trashers at the same time, Smugglers gives you yummy cards to trash for fun and profit. Smugglers also helps you get Gold on the cheap without spending money or using a buy to get it ('cause virtually everyone buys Gold).
 
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David desJardins
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You could build a Village/Smugglers deck that's designed to gain two Gold when your right-hand opponent gains one Gold.
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Jon
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DaviddesJ wrote:
You could build a Village/Smugglers deck that's designed to gain two Gold when your right-hand opponent gains one Gold.

I like the idea of how Smugglers interacts with Remodel-type cards. You gain cards without making the sacrifice the Remodeler made.
 
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Mark Diehr
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DaviddesJ wrote:
You do know that the Cutpurse doesn't remove Copper from your opponent's decks?

Oh man, I am imagining the Cutpurse cutting someone's coins out of their purse and then just leaving them on the ground. :D
 
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Tommy Occhipinti
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Basilisk wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
You do know that the Cutpurse doesn't remove Copper from your opponent's decks?

Oh man, I am imagining the Cutpurse cutting someone's coins out of their purse and then just leaving them on the ground.

Well geez, he wouldn't want to take them, they'd dilute the Silver he kept in his pouch and then he wouldn't be able to buy stuff as often! You know, just like in real life!
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